As the Communications team's resident parent of two toddlers, today's Family Day Travel Tips blog post fell squarely to me. And while I could provide a litany of tips on travelling with the under-three set, the following includes a couple of suggestions for travelling with other members of the family, too.
1. Pack your carry-on strategically. By this, I mean more than just remembering that your giant water bottle will not make it through pre-board screening. Tote along a couple of roll-up reuseable water bottles and fill them once you've settled in after security. Do yourself a favour and quickly read through CATSA's online security screening guide for more info. And I like to throw in some surprise novelty items for the kids to play with - a roll of Scotch tape or a sheet of stickers or a box of raisins - that can intrigue and occupy a young child for a few minutes. This may also work for husbands.
2. Plan ahead for in-airport transport. Airlines have wheelchairs available for transport to the gate, but it's important to let them know your requirements when booking your flight. My 97-year-old grandma travelled back east last summer and had an excellent airport experience thanks to some advanced planning with the airline- which also included requesting the bulkhead seat for extra onboard comfort.
3. Don't be a snack hero. Who needs to think of food when you're packing clothes and toiletries for two/three/four people? Unless you have very specific appetites to satisfy, wait to pick up your food until you're at the airport. Hudson News on Level 3 of the DTB has a great selection of salty and sweet portable snacks. Our team should know: this is also our go-to spot for meeting treats.
4. Your family may include a four-legged companion. And because rules about travelling with pets vary widely from airline to airline, doing your research is essential. Maybe it's just better to leave them at home, or treat them to a holiday of their own at Jet Pet Resort. For moves or long trips, there's also Worldwide Animal Travel, which operates out of our cargo village. (Check out the gallery of "latest travellers." Adorable!)
5. Extra time is a must. Especially when travelling en masse. Your sanity will thank you, as will airline staff. Mortifying confession: I was late for a flight from YVR to Toronto last summer. I work at the airport. I should know better. Thankfully, the airline staff were fantastic about getting us through check-in, security and to the gate. Although I do recall pushing the stroller at 25 km/hour down the length of C Pier, shouting "I'm so sorry!" And no time for a coffee, either.
Happy travels this Family Day weekend!